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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

New Jersey Institute of Technology Director to Chair National Minority Group

Laurence Howell, the executive director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has been named chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Minority Engineering Programs Administrators (NAMEPA).  Howell will be chairman for two years, representing universities along the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic states.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of NAMEPA,” said Howell, of Wayne, “and as chairman I’ll extend the work I do at NJIT to motivate and increase the number of minority engineers.”

NAMEPA is a national network of educators, industry representatives, government and nonprofit groups committed to helping underrepresented groups earn engineering degrees and work as engineers.

It’s not the first time Howell has been recognized for outstanding service. In March, Howell was named minority-engineering program director of the year by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Howell was cited by NSBE for being a “major contributor to NJIT’s consistently high ranking in graduating African-American and Hispanic engineers.”

Under Howell’s leadership, NJIT has distinguished itself in the national rankings of colleges that graduate minority engineers. According to the magazine Black Issues in Higher Education, NJIT ranks 15th in the nation for awarding bachelor degrees in engineering to African-Americans, and 11th nationally for awarding bachelor degrees in engineering to Hispanics.

At NJIT, Howell supervises a staff of 10 whose job it is to recruit, educate and graduate the NJIT students in EOP. With an annual budget of $2.3 million, Howell has increased the number of incoming EOP freshmen to 150 out of a total enrollment of 5,500. EOP is a state and university-funded program that offers academic, financial and counselling support to underrepresented minorities.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.